To dance or not to dance?

 

Does dancing make babies?

I have been a dancer for most of my life. It’s in my blood—I’m a Zumba instructor and I teach in the dance club on campus. I feel wrong if I don’t dance.

Katie Fox dances at Homecoming. (Photo by Lisa Heath)

But I haven’t been a Christian most of my life.

I didn’t grow up wondering if dancing was wrong and it certainly wasn’t condemned at my public high school. Dancing gave you a sort of status. If you could break it out on the dance floor, you were hailed and copied. If you could break it down in a dancing circle, all the better.

Originality and structure weren’t necessary; the real question was, “could you do what the music video did?”

Sometimes I could, which wasn’t always to my moral benefit.

I got saved in a Pentecostal church in my area and dancing was encouraged as a way of worship. I wouldn’t break out in full-on routines and wouldn’t engage in the sort of dancing I did at school dances, but I also didn’t receive any condemnation for my dancing.

[pullquote]Coming to a Christian college is really what made me question dancing. Is dancing a modesty issue? Can dancing negatively affect others? Can dancing lead to babies?

The answer is yes.[/pullquote]

Coming to a Christian college is really what made me question dancing. Is dancing a modesty issue? Can dancing negatively affect others? Can dancing lead to babies?

The answer is yes.

Dancing is an art. And like all art, it can be used positively or negatively. The masses of people grinding like they’re glued together is probably not the best form of this art. But the dude free-styling in the middle of dance circle is utilizing this art to an admirable degree.

Dancing is a social outlet. When people go to dances the lights are low, there are colors flying everywhere, the music is loud, the beat is clear. It’s easier for people to feel comfortable in their own skin and interact with others in a way they couldn’t before.

Dancing is exercise. In a lethargic society, we need more ways to exercise. For example, Zumba is a fun way to stay fit. It’s flashy, it’s sexy, it’s energetic and it’s a real workout.

Dancing cannot be stopped. Whether or not we want to admit it, dancing is everywhere. From head-bobbing to the ballet, dancing runs through the veins of humanity. So, I think it’s pointless to condemn the entire art only because it can be misused.

I will never stop dancing—of this I’m sure. It’s only a matter of how I will dance.

Kaitie Fox is photo editor for Aviso AVW.

 

 •      •      •      •      •

Hesitant to dance

Dancing has been a topic that has caused debate in centuries past, the current day and even in my own life.

I would be considered a freak if I began doing “The Dance of the Dying Swan” in the middle of the dance floor, but I would be more comfortable doing that than freestyle.

Lisa Heath not dancing at Homecoming. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

If I were given to my own choice of dancing, in a flash I would ask you, “Do you know how to waltz?” or I might ask you, “Can you swing?” I feel much more comfortable if I am given a set step or am given choreography to learn.

My close friends at home and people in my family will tell you that they have seen me dance freestyle at weddings or occasionally in other settings, but it comes with hesitation deep inside.

Before I get up to dance without a set step or style I hem and haw thinking it over and over in my mind. Should I or shouldn’t I?

This mindset comes from the tradition of my Wesleyan denomination that one should not dance. Most evangelical circles no longer follow this view and do participate in many forms of dancing.

I have danced. I even took tap, ballet and jazz as a child.

Since I was raised in this faith tradition, I always struggle with the idea of why is all dancing considered “bad” by the forefathers of the Wesleyan tradition. This is in the background of my mind.

I can see their viewpoint when I see people grinding one another and see people dancing with their entire bodies shaking wildly.

If someone doesn’t dance in such a crazy manner as mentioned above dancing can be a good thing—it doesn’t need to be bad. However, part of me thinks dancing is fun and a great way to celebrate—part of me thinks that dancing is a great expression of joy.

When I was little, I would jump on the furniture and dance in the family room to Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Lone Ranger.” My parents have let me dance and they do not mind that I dance for fun and joy, but as for freestyle dancing in public, I am not too sure about.

Perhaps I should follow what I think God asks me to do? I want to take my faith seriously and follow God with my whole heart.

If this is a stumbling block, should I stop? Or am I overthinking it?

Lisa Heath is a senior staff writer for the Aviso AVW.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Samuel Taylor says:

    I’m embarrassed that this is still debated.

    Like

  2. Kristin Rayz says:

    Great article! I love that you showed two different points of view for this topic. It’s all a matter of what you’re most personally comfortable with.

    Like

  3. Mitchell Fehrman says:

    Nice dichotomy of ideas. I was raised in a pro dance house, but I have friends who frown upon it. So, I can relate to both sides.

    Like

  4. Rae Showen says:

    Thank you for the article. SAC is considering a theme dance for the scheduled dance this spring.

    Thoughts?
    Rae

    Like

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